Wake Up Dead - Barrel-Aged | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Wake Up Dead - Barrel-AgedWake Up Dead - Barrel-Aged
293 Ratings
Wake Up Dead - Barrel-AgedWake Up Dead - Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 08-02-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 293 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of bort11
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 0z bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip glass. A thin khaki colored head drops down quickly, only spotty lacing. This is not completely out of line for a barrel aged beer, but is a little disappointing. The body color is a light black with a reddish hue. I see a lot of highlights that come through the center.

The smell is a straight up stout. Lots of dark roasted notes, mostly coffee and dark bread. I do not get any of the char flavors that usually come with a barrel aged beer. Taste does recover the char flavoring, but it is still very light.

Mouthfeel is a lot thinner than what I would expect of an Imperial Stout. It drinks very smooth, I do not get the feeling that this is a beer over 10% ABV. This is not a bad beer in general, but I don't think it lives up to the expectations of a barrel aged Imperial Stout. I think I am more impressed with the label than the beer.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - For an imperial stout, this is surprisingly light in color, being a translucent reddish-brown. There's a small ring of tan head around the edge of the glass.

S - There's a big roasty malt aroma, coupled with an astringent alcohol/woody mix and a bit of rawhide.

T - The biggest taste here is the booze, with a light smoked malt backbone. There is some coffee and chocolate afterwards, and some woody notes, which come out more as the beer warms.

M - Pretty good medium-full body, that's verging on creamy.

D - It's not difficult to drink, not heavy, and not unpleasant, but being as it's not particularly tasty, it's not particularly drinkable.

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Photo of caskstrength
1.06/5  rDev -69.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bomber bottled 10/26/10. Cool label, I must say. Ran into this randomly when visiting my local dealer, never heard of it before. Gave it a try, about 10 bucks.

Looked it up, Heaven Hill brandy barrel blended imperial stout. sounds great.

Pours dark brown, easy to see through. Limited carbonation, but still a thin head that quickly forms a ring.

Some spicy stale coffee smells, cinnamon for the spice. Roasted malts, but muted. Maybe some fruit, I don't know. Nothing interesting, really. I kept smelling and kept finding nothing.

I think the flavor died in this beer. There is nothing to be found, it's a shell of a barrel aged stout. Maybe some coffee grounds that have been used twice. Some roasted carmel malts? Everything is thin and superficial.

A terrible beer. There is no life here, so at least the name fits.

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Photo of aasher
1/5  rDev -71%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had higher hopes for this one. When a bottle says barrel aged Imperial stout it should mean something. It poured a watery, thin and translucent raisin brown in color with no head. It looks like dip spit or even muddy mop water. It doesn't resemble a stout of any kind. The smell was very sweet, too sweet, and of caramelized brown sugar. That was it, no other characteristics and completely one dimensional. The taste was far too sweet as well. It tasted of brown sugar, raisins, and figs. Far too much fruit for an Imperial stout. Where's the coffee? Where's the roasted notes? Nowhere to be found! It was very, very thin. It didn't even coat the sides of the glass. It was like dirty water. This beer is an imposter. It is not imperial stout. It's a sugary sweet brown ale. Avoid! I deserve an apology and refund. This beer killed this brewery for me. I'll never go back again.

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Photo of scifan
1.43/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a a dark brown with a khaki head leaving some lacing along the glass. Its very thin looking you can almost see through it when held to the light.
Not much on the nose. Just a little bit of roasty malts and a hint of oaky woodiness. Also a strange plastic/rubber smell as well. I was hoping for alot more out of this one.
The taste isn't any better in fact I think its worse. Just some roasted malts and hints of the bourbon barrel aging. I thought the label said it spent a year in the barrel. Unfortunatley the most prominant flavor is this plastic/rubber flavor that lingers long after its gone.
Mouthfeel is very thin. You would think that this was a 5% porter not a 10% Imperial Stout, it has no backbone at all.
All in all a terrible beer. Maybe I got a bad bottle but I'm not spending another 9 bucks to find out.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 26 Oct 10.

A: deep copper color, very little head
S: very mild, roasted malt with EtOH, pretty one-dimesional
T: from the label I was expected a lot more, roasted malt, strong bitter finish, no really noticeable good barrel qualities, needed more malt
M: OK but too bitter finish
D: drinkable but one dimensional

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Photo of ncaudle
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

growler was filled about 2 hours prior to drinking; poured into snifter.

as it poured it was rather brownish letting a lot of light through but settled into the glass pitch black with a small head leaving only a ring around the top of the liquid.

faint bourbon, charred wood, chocolate and molasses hit the nose. surprisingly no boozy smell even at +10%. taste is the same - very nice balance going on.

maybe a touch thin for the style, but still pleasant; nice carbonation levels.

almost too drinkable due to high abv.

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Photo of atsprings
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Hopus glass pours a not quite opaque black that shows ruby when held to light. The beer is topped by a nice frothy khaki head that lasts as a thin layer and leavers nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is oak in the front with a nice amount of roasted malts and cocoa. The taste is a nice amount of roasted malt and oak alongside vanilla, licorice, molasses, and baker's cocoa. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with smooth carbonation. This is an enjoyable beer, far from the best Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts out there, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had anything from Left Hand in a while, so I am looking forward to trying this one. Wake up Dead? Pretty lame name if ya ask me, but what matters is whats in the glass. It pours a completely black (as expected) color, with a quick to fade white head, eventually becoming lacing. The nose is pretty deep with black currants, fudge, wood, and some char. Taste is different from what I was expecting....lots of juicy cherries, bitter chocolate and licorice. The barrel aging is more noticeable in the smell than in the taste. Mouthfeel is nice and chewy, with minimal carbonation, and a tiny hop bite at the back end. No mention of ABV here, though I am guessing it is in the ten percent range, maybe a bit more. The alcohol is there, though it doesn't taste hot at all. Sip this one slowly, and allow it to warm up so more the complexities come through. Overall this is a really nice cold weather treat from Left Hand. Also, a barrel aged RIS for ten dollars or so isn't too shabby. Cheers

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes out of the bottle a dark, barely translucent chocolaty brown with a thick, fine-bubbled, fairly persistent tan head that leaves some decent lacing. Aroma is smoky with hints of chocolate, toffee and licorice and a noticeable alcohol nip. Flavor has tones of unsweet chocolate, licorice, bitter wood, caramel, coffee and toffee; unfortunately, the alcohol bite is a wee bit too strong - half a point off there. Texture is fiercely edgy and fairly fizzy, leaving behind a long-lasting tingle and a bit of a metallic tang, as well as just a whisper of sweetness.

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Photo of rka758
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into tulip glass.
Paid $9

A: Poured a chestnut brown with zero head.
S: Smells of sweet malts and dark fruits.
T: I get a lot of raisins and dark fruits.
M: A little thin.
D: While I generally enjoy imperial stouts, this is really not my cup of tea (or glass of beer).

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth dark chocolate and roasted malts backed by mild amounts of oak. Also present are slight amounts of char and slighter amounts of toffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells although better integrated. Robust roasted malt flavors leaning toward the sweet side kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens a bit with the addition of dark toffee, black cherry, and faint vanilla flavors. The sweetness then subsides near the end of the sip with slight hints of char and oak that rounds everything out nicely. The ending is moderately bitter.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation was on the heavy side for a beer of this style.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another with no problems.

Overall I wasn't sure what to expect from a BA beer from Left Hand but I was pleasantly surprised. A tasty beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chesnut brown - never quite gives the impression of black. Mild brown head and very slight stringy lacing. All in all, not that remarkable in the "appearance" department.

Nose is rich and sweet. Loaded with toffee/caramel malt, very sweet, with hints of cherry fruitiness. The taste goes hand in hand which much of the same notes. Predominantly strong caramel/toffee notes supported by cherry licorice flavors. Nice mellow, woody undertones. No roasted notes at all - which is perfect in my book! I think too many breweries load their stouts up with massive roasty notes. While the brewery suggests herbal notes, I picked up none.

The mouthfeel is very thin for an RIS. Hurts the overall experience. Carbonation is appropriate.

This is a delicious beer, but really atypical for an RIS. The appearance and mouthfeel are especially unusual for the style, and even the taste is off the typical RIS path. Honestly, I would peg it more as an Old or Strong Ale if I was trying it during a blind tasting.

Regardless, this is a delicious beer. Don't hold it to a style - just enjoy it. Fantastic beer. I've never been that impressed with Left Hand in the past, but they hit a home run on this one.

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Photo of ratedz
2.21/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with a half inch off-white head. The head fades quickly and leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Nose is full of sweet caramel and chocolate. Some earthy/wood notes hide in the background.

Taste starts out with some chocolate and dark fruit. Some wood notes are in there too. As it hits the back of the tongue, there is some kind of weird plastic/rubber taste. That same off-putting flavor stays on the tongue even after the sip is gone.

Mouth feel is very thin for a barrel aged imperial stout...it's so thin that I could see light through it when I held the glass up to a light. Low level of carbonation, which isn't terribly uncommon for an imperial stout.

Drinkability was low due to the off flavor. It didn't exactly make me crave that next sip. Maybe I got a bad bottle given that the other reviews (only 4 so far) are all positive. Very disappointed in this effort from Left Hand...their other beers that I have tried have always been solid, nothing exceptional, but solid.

Edit - my second bottle was even worse than the first. The plastic/rubber taste was much more dominant and even appeared in the nose this time. Two sips of it and down the drain it went.

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Photo of BrianGT
4.82/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark cherry/brown in my pint glass. Minimal head, tan in color.

Has a sweet toffee/cherry/malty smell.

Fruity up front, with cocoa taste in the middle, finishing with a nice bitterness. Has a thick feel to it.

Is definitely a different approach to an imperial stout. Will be interesting to see how this is after sitting in the cellar for a while. Time to go pick up some more of this.

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Photo of obywan59
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The brew pours thickly into my pint glass. Dark brown in color with a thin tan head (chilled too hard). Some highlights around the edges. When held to a very bright light, it reveals deep ruby and mahogany tones. Very thick and cloudy looking. The 2nd (warmer) pour gave up a nice, thick looking 1 finger head with decent lacing.

Smells caramelly and sweet with a bit of coffee and some woody undertones.

Pretty sweet upfront with a taste of bitter chocolate and hints of dark cherries and perhaps raisins as mentioned on the label. Heavy bitterness on the follow through.

Thick bodied. The brew leaves a syrupy stickiness in the mouth, while at the same time presenting a thick, smooth and creamy feel as well. Substantial alcohol burn in the throat.

The 10.2% ABV really started kicking in even before starting on the 2nd glass. This is one head-stompin' beer. Great for the first snowy night of the season.

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Photo of nevins
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful pour from a bomber into my PBC tulip. Dark Chocolate in color ( and taste). Lots of tangerine and sweet fruit flavors. Not as " imperial "as I'd like. Cellar this for a couple and if all those fruit flavorsare fermentable this will be a richous beer.

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Photo of Tabni
4.55/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at TW for $8.99
Poured into a glass.
A- Dark black color with a small creamy yellowish head
S- Exceptional, barrels, this might be a strong one and I don't see anywhere the alcohol content.
T&M- Warm up my palate slowly, a strong barrel aged beer. I can taste chocolate, roasted and wooden malts. Great job Left Hand!
D- After sipping this beer, I assumed it had around 10 or 11% alcohol, to later on find-out that it was 10.20%. Great brew for a cold winter night, being close to a bong-fire, and enjoy a movie out with the stars. That's exactly how I had it and it was a great night to remember.

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Wake Up Dead - Barrel-Aged from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 293 ratings